At the end of a marriage, many different things come into question since the spouses have to divide everything that they own together. The unfortunate bit about divorce is that it affects children. Parents can get so carried way that they only care about what they want, hurting or ensuring that their partner loses. Often, the children’s needs fall through the cracks. This is what the court system in Michigan divorce cases handles. There are various factors that every court ought to follow in determination of child custody. After child custody, the next step is to determine child support.
What is Child Support?
Child support is the amount paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent for the purpose of taking care of the children’s needs. Education, clothing, food and shelter are some of the basic children’s needs that need to be met. This requires money and one parent alone may not be able to provide for these. Additionally, children are already accustomed to a certain standard of living before the divorce and this should not be affected in any way. You can consult with your Michigan divorce attorney on this matter.
Who Determines Child Support and How?
The court decides the amount to be paid in child support. This is based on a number of factors including:
- The children’s needs
- Both parents’ level of income
- The ability of the non-custodial parent to pay
- The custodial parent’s ability to support the children
With these factors, the judge is able to determine the amount that should be paid and the duration for such payments, which is often monthly. The child support agreement will cover all the details: the amount, time period, date by which the amount should be paid and so on. This makes it hard for either of the parents to exploit the agreement.
In special cases where the mother is the custodial parent and the man denies paternity, then the court has to order for a DNA test first before making the determination. If the man is the father then he is bound by the child support directive as issued by the court.
Violation and Enforcement of Child Support
Late payment and non-payment are considered violations to the child support directive issued by the court. When the custodial parent reports the matter to the police, then a warrant of arrest is issued on the non-custodial parent. The remedy for non-payment or late payment is to redirect tax refunds to the custodial parent. If the non-custodial parent is arrested, they can be charged for being in contempt which can attract a jail term.
At the end of the day, child custody and child support is determined in the best interest of the child. If you do not pay child support, then you are robbing your child of their basic needs. If, also, you are a custodial parent and the non-custodial party does not honor the agreement, you should report them. Failure to do so is denying your child the right to access their basic needs.